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Some Great Historic and Nature Sites to Visit in England and Wales

I love history; it forms the basis of my interest in genealogy and has an influence on our itinerary when on family holidays.


Some Great Places We’ve Visited in Britain

When on holiday, other than the beeches, and sightseeing, we like to visit places of historic interest or where we can experience some of the wildlife. So in this Article I take you on a brief tour of some of those places which we’ve visited; and thoroughly enjoyed.

Follow me on my travels around Britain to see some of the wonders of these English Castles, Historical sites, Nature Reserves and Wildlife parks; and read about the Mistral story, a swan in Harwich with her love triangle.

On my tour around Britain I take a peek at some interesting British Castles; Architectural sites and historical buildings in cities, towns and villages; Victorian engineering and windmills; air shows; British wildlife in their natural habitat, animal parks, zoos and Living museums.

Castles Through the Ages

2000 Years of British Castles

A detailed description and photos of British castles built from Roman Times to modern day visited by me over the years, while on holiday or day trips in England and Wales, are reviewed more fully in my other articles on HubPages and YouTube; they include:-

  • Colchester, Hedingham and Mountfitchet castles in Essex
  • Legoland, Windsor
  • Warwick Castle, Warwickshire
  • Berkeley Castle, Berkeley, Gloucestershire and,
  • Lulworth Castle. Dorset

Below is a brief overview of just three of these magnificent castles worth visiting:

  • Mountfitchet Castle in Southeast England,
  • Cardiff Castle in South Wales, and
  • Conwy Castle in North Wales.
Inner defence at Mountfitchet castle

Inner defence at Mountfitchet castle

Mountfitchet Castle 1066

An Early Norman Castle Defence

Mountfitchet Castle is a prime example of an early wooden Norman Defence built shortly after their invasion and occupation of Britain in 1066. As the Norman foothold on Britain became established so their early wooden defences were replaced with more substantial and more commonly recognisable Norman castles built from stone.

Mountfitchet Castle prides itself on the freedom and happiness of all its animals, many of which have come from less happy backgrounds; some of the chickens are rescued from battery farms, the goats are either unwanted or outgrown pets and the deer are either road accident victims or orphans. They feel it is essential for all their animals to roam freely, and for visitors, both young and old, to have a "hands-on" experience with them.

Many of the breeds are exactly as the Normans would have kept for meat and milk; animals in Norman times were prized possessions, a herd of sheep, or better still, fallow deer, was a great status symbol - the deer only being hunted by the Baron or Lord. The punishment for deer-poaching was the removal of a hand or for a subsequent offence, the death penalty.

Mountfitchet Castle

Mountfitchet Castle

Map Location of Mountfitchet Castle

Cardiff Castle

A Victorian Folly in South Wales

Cardiff Castle, on the outskirts of Cardiff, south Wales is a Victorian Folly, although it is built above a magnificent Roman Wall which has now been excavated and open to the public, and parts of an original Norman Castle sites in the grounds of Cardiff Castle. This is a great castle to visit for a day out and time permitting you may also want to spend an hour or two window shopping in Cardiff city High Street.

Map Location of Cardiff Castle, Wales

Conwy Castle

A Medieval Castle in North Wales

Conwy Castle which overlooks Conwy town and bay in North Wales was built by King Edward I in the 13th century keep the welsh at bay. The castle is in partial ruins but it is a large building complex and much of the original structure still stands so it makes a great day out for anyone who loves history and is holidaying in the area; and for budding photography enthusiasts there’s plenty of potential for taking great photographs.

Map Location of Conwy Castle, North Wales

Historical Buildings

Wherever you travel around Britain there are always plenty of historical buildings and castles to be found.

Historical Places I’ve visited while on holiday, or on day trips, in England and Wales which have made for an enjoyable and fulfilling day out include:-

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  • Flatford Mill, Suffolk, the famous setting for John Constable paintings
  • St Fagan Historical Village in South Wales, highly recommended
  • The organ and clock mechanism at the 500 year old Hutton Church in Weston-Super-Mare
  • Glastonbury Tor, Somerset
  • The Roman Baths at Bath, near Bristol
  • Cricket St Thomas, Somerset, the setting of the famous TV series "To The Manor Born"
  • Layer Marney Tower, Colchester, Essex
  • Mountfitchet Castle, a Living Norman Village of 1066 and the House On The Hill Toy Museum at Mountfitchet, Essex
  • Prior Hall Barn, Essex
  • Tinton Abbey in Wales, and
  • Victorian wind and water pumps on the Norfolk Broads, including Red Mill and Horsey Windmills.